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Nitro Stout carbonation fix

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  • Nitro Stout carbonation fix

    So, it took a while, but I finally got the carbonation figured out on my nitro pour Irish Export Stout. Then this latest batch happened. My assistant accicentally over-carbonated it. And although I had planned to check it out to see what adjustments could be make before it was packaged, I got pulled into a different project and the whole batch was kegged off at a carbonation level that makes for extremely wasteful pours through a stout faucet -- way way too much foam.

    The good news is that this brand is only sold at our taproom. So no accounts left waiting or disappointed.

    However, I don't want to waste the entire, otherwise just fine, batch. Especially with St. Patrick's Day a week away and without the grain to brew another. As it stands now, I'm probably only going to be able to sell half of each keg with all the foam that's poured out. And each pour is messy and time consuming (annoyed bartenders). Any ideas on how to tame an aggressive pour in this situation?

    I am going to try tweaking the serving pressure. But even if it works initially, it will result in a moving target. Each keg will lose carbonation at the lower pressure and eventually the beer will start pouring too flat.

    My other thought is to take one of my back-up restrictor plates and try drilling an extra hole or enlarging one of the existing holes. The thought being that more (or larger) holes will mean less agitation and a smoother pour. But then, there will be less restriction and a faster pour. Hard to guess what the result might be. Any thoughts or ideas? Are there companies that make restrictor plates with different sized holes, say for different pressure systems? Seems like there would be something like that out there already, but my Googling hasn't turned anything up yet.

  • #2
    You need more restriction, not less. Use some 3/16 beer line to balance the system for the new level of carbonation.

    Alternatively, let the beer warm up to 60F or so and use a tavern head with the beer-out fitting blocked off (a penny and a gasket under the beer nut work very well for this) and bleed off some pressure using the PRV on the tavern head. This won't be practical if you've also nitrogenated the beer in-keg.
    Timm Turrentine

    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.


    • #3
      Difficult now that it is in keg.

      Disks/creamers come in multiple sizes in Europe. Can't seem to find any other than .25 or .3 mm here. I would recommend a .5mm orifice plate even temporarily if you can find one. I remember this as the 'kilkenny' disk.

      You need to slow your flow dramatically. Restriction line or inline flow control recommended. This flow controller can be on the shank (rotary), inline, or on the beer tap itself (rare with stout taps)

      Take your time pouring. It is not unusual for patrons to have to wait 3-4 minutes for their stout due multiple partial pours to 'build' a pint.

      Good luck.


      Liam McKenna


      • #4

        I couldn't find any other sized diffusion plates, so I ended up buying one of the intertap faucets with flow control. Intertap offers a stout nozzle, so I got one of those. Ended up being good timing, because on top of the carbonation issue, the plunger in my stout faucet tore and started leaking out of the top. When it rains, it pours I guess.